July 2021 GRN Update

Please forgive us as we know that it has been some time since we have written an update!

As with many other overseas ministries, the Covid 19 pandemic has adversely affected our work in South Sudan. And, as challenges have come our way, we’ve needed to monitor and adjust. However, at the same time, we are glad to say that we are continuing to do what we have always done. Serving the needs of people has always been our top priority. Although GRN has worked on some significant projects, those projects have only been a “platform” for us to meet needs and share the love of Jesus Christ with suffering people.

Our team in South Sudan is currently focusing its attention on helping local villagers plow their fields. Meeting this need is a huge help to the people. Besides, as always, the GRN team is sharing Christ’s love wherever they go. We constantly ask about the greatest needs and then do our best to meet those needs when it is possible.

Our friend, Father Charles Busak, serves everyone and not just Catholic parishioners. He has been a great help to lead us to the neediest people in the area. Father Charles regularly puts his life on the line, as does our team, to help the most vulnerable and has become a dear friend to us at GRN.

As some of you already know, this past January, I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. This disease has slowed me down as it has prevented me from working, driving and other family functions. At times, it’s even affected my walking. I have currently received a newer treatment and am awaiting the results. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! Since many people who receive this treatment experience relief from some of their symptoms, it gives me hope. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

During this season of life, I have learned a great deal. For example, I realize that who I am is much more important than what I do. What I do may be notable, but when what I could do came to a screeching halt, I asked myself, what matters now? What I do might temporarily impress people (at times, this, unfortunately, includes ourselves). But, in contrast, who I am has great eternal value. A friend recently reminded me that I am called a human “being” and not a human “doing.” However, I have focused most of my adult life on what I can do rather than who I can be. Maybe some of you can relate?

My prayer is that we will be more like Mother Teresa and focus on what kind of person we can be, and as we do, we will change the world around us. She changed the world, and we can too. Mother Teresa never felt like anyone special, yet anyone who knew her believed that she was. People followed her because they wanted to be like her. And although she never asked anyone to work with her, thousands of people did. I, too, wish to be more like her, yet I realize that I have a long way to go. So please remember me in your prayers.

On September 5, 1997, I was participating in a large missions conference in Orlando, Florida. There were hundreds of vendors and over a thousand people present when someone announced over the loudspeaker that Mother Teresa had died. Within seconds, the place went quiet; you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone knew that a giant of the faith had left us for her eternal home.

I wonder if anyone will notice when my boat leaves for distant shores? If anyone does, I hope that it will be happy thoughts based on the person I was and not for the things I did.

On April 5, 2021, another faithful servant died. Archbishop Emeritus Paolino Lukudu Loro of the Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan, finished his race. He, like Mother Teresa, impacted the world around him. In a war-torn nation, he did his best to deliver peace and love, and as a result, South Sudan will never be the same. He received a hero’s burial. May you rest in peace now, Archbishop; your war is finally over.